INTERVIEW: Easton Corbin

Easton Corbin’s First single, “A Little More Country Than That,” has gone to #1 since I sat down with him to visit; a tune written by Rory Feek (Joey + Rory), Don Poythress and Wynn Varble. It paints a picture of rural life that speaks to Easton’s small town sensibilities. “Even though I didn’t write it, this song identifies who I am,” he says. “It shows character and that’s important where I’m from. You learn to say ‘yes, ma’am’ and ‘no, sir,’ and to open the door for the ladies.”
We took some time during CRS to visit about his journey to this point and his excitement about his upcoming tour (which was about to be announced that he was opening for Brad Paisley). Corbin is winning hearts over across the radio waves and from the stage as his voice croons his country songs with a smooth voice that is oftentimes confused with George Strait

Bev: I know you started out when you were really young. Give me a brief overview of what got you here.
Easton: During college I had been coming to Nashville to do some demo projects, and my cousin shared it with some of his friends here in Nashville. They talked to James Phillips, a booking agent here in town who is a great guy. When I moved here, he had me come in his office and play for him and an A & R guy at Universal. I played for those guys and they really loved it, they invited me over to the label to play and they really liked it and they offered me a developmental deal. With that, we cut four sides. They listened to the songs, liked them and signed me to a full deal. That’s it in a nutshell.
Bev: You have written with some of the top writers, tell me how that feels? How has that been for you to come into Nashville and jump right into writing with some of these big writers?
Easton: It has been a great opportunity, I feel I am a developing writer and it is a great to get in there and have them share their knowledge with me. It is better than any kind of training you could get, it is always good. I love being able to get in there as a young writer with the experienced writers and get kicked around a little bit.
Bev: What is one of the lessons or words of advice that they have given you that you have really remembered?
Easton: It is to always about writing stuff that you know and can relate to.
Bev: So if you write it, you have to have lived it or at least experienced something that you can relate to it to really get into it?
Easton: Sure. It is hard to write songs about things you don’t know much about—and be accurate, anyway.
Bev: As far as performances, I know your music is just now getting out there on the radio. What has been one of the most exciting things as far as the performances for you?
Easton: I hate to be vague about it, but every time we get to perform out there is very exciting. There is not just one experience that stands out, but I will say that as the single has climbed up the charts, it has been very exciting to go out there and the crowd really knows your music and can sing along with you. That is really, really exciting.
Bev: Do you have any stage rituals you do? Chants or prayers before you go out?
Easton: Not really, I will say a little prayer usually.
Bev: When you relate your professional life to your personal life, what has been the biggest thing you have had to deal with as far as change as you become more popular?
Easton: Not much yet, I do get recognized by a few people once in awhile. Probably the biggest thing is the travel and being out there on the road; that is a pretty big adjustment.
Bev: Have you performed with any of your idols yet? Do you have one that you just can’t wait to perform with?
Easton: I would love to perform with Merle Haggard or George Jones. I wish I could perform with Keith Whitley but unfortunately, that won’t happen.
Bev: You came from a very small town when you moved to Nashville, a much bigger city, is there a big difference? Is there any similarities?
Easton: I think it is similar as far as the music business. Nashville is a lot like a small town with the music industry; everyone knows everyone. You definitely have to watch what you say!
Bev: Looking at your CD and knowing you had some input on a few songs on there, is your goal eventually to only sing what you write or do you always want to have other people involved in it?
Easton: I just want the best songs I can get whether I wrote them or someone else did, it doesn’t matter to me. It is just a matter of finding the right songs.
Bev: This album is very country, is that where you are going to stay?
Easton: I am going to keep doing the music that I love. It will always be in that vein, believe me, I don’t think I can do anything else.
Bev: Have you hooked up with anyone as far as promotion and sponsorship?
Easton: No, not yet. We are talking to a few people, there are a lot of great folks out there. Hopefully, that will change here in the near future.
Bev: What’s next? Are you set up with a lot of tours this summer?
Easton: We are looking at a very busy summer coming up and yes, we will be out on a tour. I can’t say with who yet but it should be announced this week. We will have a very busy and exciting summer.
Bev: That means you will be opening for someone relatively well known?
Easton: Yes, you can say that.
Bev: Are you actively doing Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and those types of social media? What are your thoughts on those?
Easton: I definitely do those. Sometimes I have people ask if it is me or someone working my site. I actually do go on them, look at them and I do write on them. Yes, I am very active.
Bev: What is your Twitter contact name?
Easton: It is just my name, Easton Corbin.
Bev: Do you have a favorite song on this CD?
Easton: I love all the songs, I really do. They all have a special place, I can’t name just one.
Bev: Was there anything, as you were going into the studio, that was unexpected? Something that you didn’t know how it worked?
Easton: Not really, I had a pretty good idea being involved in music for a long time. I had a pretty good idea of what was expected but it was still a learning experience because I had never been involved on this level before.
Bev: If someone new was to walk up to you today, what advice would you give them?
Easton: Be true to yourself and don’t try to be something you’re not. When you come to town, try to make as many contacts as you can. Make good contacts, that is, because there are a lot of bad ones out there too.
Bev: Has there been any memorable fan reactions?
Easton: I got my first encore a few weeks back. That was really cool!
Bev: Any strange requests for autographs?
Easton: No, I haven’t signed any body parts yet. I would be very red if someone asked me to do that. My cheeks would be as red as a fire engine.
Bev: Easton, I wish we had more time to visit, but I know I will be seeing you all week at CRS. Thanks for the visit and I look forward to next time.
Easton: Thank you Bev, and I look forward to talking to you again as well.

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Transcribed by Pam Stadel

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